What’s in Anti-Viral Kleenex?


Do all KLEENEX boxes come with federal warnings against misuse?

I hadn’t intended to leave Walgreens with any kind of virucidal paper product, but in a fit of summer cold snuffles I accidentally bought a box of polka-dotted germ fighters equipped with directions against wiping up spills and an active ingredients list.

Promises the KLEENEX Anti-Viral tissue box: “[The] tissue has three soft layers, including a moisture-activated middle layer that kills 99.9% of cold and flu viruses in the tissue within 15 minutes.”

Wow! Would eating one cure a cold altogether?

Tragically, this goes unanswered on the KLEENEX website. But here’s my favorite question from the FAQ:

Do viruses have to hit the blue dots to be effective?

No. The virus is killed when it hits any part of the middle layer.

In case you’re wondering, the active ingredients—citric acid and sodium lauryl sulftate—are safe enough for government work. But Kimberly-Clark did have to get EPA clearance prior to marketing a facial tissue containing “pesticide” in 2004, according to a geektastic background article in the Wall Street Journal.

Has the proliferation of anti-viral products died down? I feel like I’m seeing less of them on the shelves overall these days. What about you, commenters?

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate